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Home Industry News New 3D bone-scanning technique offers new imaging potential

New 3D bone-scanning technique offers new imaging potential

9th September 2016

A new scanning technique has been developed that allows extremely high-resolution 3D images of bones to be captured without exposing patients to X-ray radiation.

Created by Trinity College Dublin, the technique involves attaching luminescent compounds to tiny gold structures to form biologically safe nanoagents that are attracted to calcium-rich surfaces, which appear when bones crack.

As such, these nanoagents are able to target and highlight the cracks formed in bones, making it easier than ever for researchers to produce a complete 3D image of the damaged regions.

This method could be used to diagnose bone strength and develop a clear picture of the extent and precise positioning of weaknesses or injuries, reducing the need for bone implants and acting as a signifier of an elevated risk of degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Moreover, this can be achieved while reducing patients' exposure to X-rays, which can be harmful in excess.

Thorri Gunnlaugsson, professor of chemistry at Trinity College Dublin, said: "This is a major step forward in our endeavour to develop targeted contrast agents for bone diagnostics for use in clinical applications."

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